Instead of resolutions, many people choose just one word each year to live by, and Jon Gordon even wrote the book about it, with a “create a poster” widget for you to get started.
My “One Words” stick with me for more than one year. I like the hum of its conscience uplifting me to be better.
In 2015, “Joy” — giving and searching for joy around me sustained my outlook for three years! It started as a wish for more joy in the classroom, considering the awful pull to improve on standardized tests, which eliminated so many of the electives that encourage the interests of our students. So I integrated more types of art, media, and movement into my classes.
For the next two years, “Story” was my word. I listened for the stories of others; I read profiles online to understand the context of the human behind the comments; I joined online communities and found our humanity flowing everywhere: we are our stories, and what we share is what we can share that day, that moment. Because behind the scenes, our lives may be in turmoil, in pain, or just getting by. And our times of community in our schools, churches, book clubs, shopping malls, town hall meetings add to our stories and our struggles to make sense of the world– together, story by story.
And our moments of contact in line at the coffee shop, waiting in the doctor’s office, a silence in the elevator– those small moments that may be a respite, a rush to get somewhere, a stress– those are times when one smile, one hello, or one nod and offer to open the door when your arms are full, those are the times we can give hope to those around us, uplifting their spirits to hold onto their stories and move forward.
That’s my word for 2020: uplift
It’s a continuation of looking for and adding joy, of listening to the stories around me. It is to make the moment better and uplift in some way, however small, to better the world in small moments.
The Merriam-Webster Learners Dictionary defines the verb uplift:
as “to make (someone) happy or hopeful“
I know, I can’t make anyone else happy or hopeful. But I can encourage that hope with a smile, a nod, a word of encouragement, or a recognition of the ideas or even the struggles. It may be in private, or in online groups, depending on the circumstance. But the one thing I hope to do is to help uplift the people around me– so perhaps some joy will be added to their stories.
Today, I thank Kevin Hodgson for his recommendation of a book that will surely bring joy to my granddaughter, who always arrived to visit with at least two or more book bags filled with read and unread, in the middle of-read books for any moment she can catch to enjoy the worlds she found within the pages. I sent her a digital version, so she can enjoy it always on her iPhone: Book Love by Debbie Tung
A thank you is a ripple. A gift, a ripple. A smile. An acknowledgement. Simple things can help our world.
Uplift seems like something we all can do to cause joyful ripples throughout the world. Together, we can do this.
What is your word for the year of 2020 ?
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker